Brandon Bender

Major: Sport Communication (Broadcast); Minor: Telecommunications

Years at IU: 2009-2013

What I did at IU: When I got to IU, I knew I wanted to major in something pertaining to sports, which has always been my passion. However, I didn’t know exactly where to start. Initially, my major was Sport Marketing & Management, but I quickly realized it was not for me, so I switched to Sport Communication (Broadcast), and I’m glad I did. With an abundance of opportunities available through student media, I tried as much as I could to build my resume–from being a WIUX Sports radio co-host to a blogger for IUSportComm, to being an on-air talent and color commentator for BTN Student U.

What I do now: Before the Covid pandemic, I had a handful of freelance gigs with the Big Ten Network, Northwestern University and the Chicago Dogs baseball organization. Since then, however, my opportunities in live production have become scarce, and I’ve fortunately found work in a different area of the sports media industry–as a live data entry operator with Sportradar, the world’s leading sports data provider. Currently, I get paid to watch sports by entering live statistical data into the company’s software, which is then distributed to clients all around the world. As one who has always been a stat nerd and had a crunch for numbers, it’s a perfect job to work from home.

What advice I have for sports media students: Start right away. Don’t wait! Give yourself as many chances as you can to find your niche–the earlier the better. Work hard and stay persistent. Your big break or lucky connection might come when you least expect it!

Also, I cannot stress enough the importance of internships. While succeeding in the classroom is crucial for graduation, there is no substitution for professional experience. Without the experience and connections acquired through internships and real-world opportunities, you will have very little chance of succeeding in any market at all.

Lastly, I always recommend having a backup plan in case sports media doesn’t work out. You’ll most likely need a full-time job outside of sports media to support yourself as you first begin your career.